Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
I have two different, but related items to discuss in this issue… The Norfolk Tournament and, “Are Leggings acceptable on the golf course?”
They’re polar opposites, but both involve tradition of the game.
First on my list (as always this time of year) is the Norfolk Invitational Golf Tournament. This is the 18th time it will be held, making it, I believe, the longest running golf event in the country.
The Norfolk Invitational was the first event where players had to be invited and, believe me, it took a long time for them to get the concept of “invitation only” through their heads. Players barraged the club and the Norfolk Group with requests to enter and when told they couldn’t, they started demanding and threatening all sorts of aggravation, but the Tournament stood firm and didn’t buckle in the face of pressure.
Players back then didn’t care what event was being held, they wanted to win prizes and felt it was their right to play in everything. As the Norfolk included luxury cars as Hole-in-One prizes, fantastic entry gifts and some excellent prizes, they went absolutely nuts trying every possible way to get into the event.
They didn’t succeed.
People forget that the Masters Tournament at Augusta National is also an “invitational” event. It’s not part of the PGA Tour, nor the USGA. They follow the Rules of Golf to be sure, but the event is organized and run by the club itself. They invite who they want. Sure, there is a basic criteria, but if they decide they don’t want you in, you’re not getting in and it doesn’t matter if you’re the number one player in the world.
That is the concept of an “Invitational” and the Norfolk Tournament remains an invitation only event. The tradition continues.
However, the event does evolve because the Norfolk Group prides themselves on always providing the best possible conditions to their players, guests at their various venues (Norfolk Hotel, Norfolk Mansion, etc) and even for their employees. As such, the Tournament was moved from its original historic site (VGCC – Thu Duc) to The Bluffs at Hồ Tràm Strip last year.
This had nothing to do with VGCC which remains an extremely popular and successful club, but rather that the organizers of the Norfolk Invitational Tournament wanted a more prestigious resort site and, with a ranking of 64th in the world according to Golf Digest, The Bluffs fit the “highest possible quality requirements” of the organizers perfectly.
The 18th Annual Norfolk Invitational Tournament tees off at The Bluffs on 08 April. If you have an invite, we hope to see you there. The Tradition continues…
OK, where to begin with this second part… Giời ơi!
Apparently, American Airlines decided to boot two kids off the plane because they wore “leggings” (yoga pants or something). Granted, they were in violation of some arcane rule governing free flights for staff or family, but this, of course, prompted someone at Golf Digest to question if clubs should allow players to wear leggings on the course…
In my view, “leggings” look wonderful on a lady who keeps herself in shape, but would look absolutely horrible on someone whose butt looks like two strange bulldogs in a bag, and whose blood type is “Häagen-Dazs”.
Look, while I have no problem seeing them on ladies in the gym, or even if they are just running around town shopping, there is a time and place for them. Hollywood celebrities looking to attract paparazzi wear them. They do make a fashion statement… good or bad as the case may be.
However, the golf course certainly isn’t the right place.
I actually toyed with the idea of leggings as part of the female caddies uniform for about 15 seconds, but then reality set in… A caddie strike followed by a free trip to Lao Cai learning to build highways didn’t seem like a good idea.
At the clubs, we expect players to dress like “ladies and gentlemen”. Shirts with collars, slacks, shorts below the knee, etc.
Golf is all about tradition. Whether a long running annual tournament, or clothing standards on the course, leggings don’t make the cut.
Unless you’re planning on going shopping at Walmart, as they have traditions too ….-VNS